Friday, 3 January 2014

Global B-school - Admission Interviews

For MBA aspirants, who have applied for round 1 (i.e. November) deadlines for globally reputed MBA programs, the interview is an integral part of the admissions process.  It is also a standard practice among B-Schools designed to surface talents and capabilities that are more tacit in nature, and therefore, less apparent in a written application. B-SCHOOL interviews are basically about testing your communication abilities, particularly in an improvised setting. What you say is important but how you say it is more important. 
International candidates, who have qualified in the basic admission requirements round, are allowed phone interviews. Alumni interviews are conducted for B-schools like ISB, Great Lakes, SP Jain, XLRI, IIIM PGX etc. in select metros.

Commonly asked questions: You will be asked questions similar to those themes that recur throughout the admissions process:
·         Academic capabilities/ qualifications
·         Leadership experience and potential
·          We all have weaknesses. What are some of your major weaknesses?
·         What are your strengths?
·         What type of decisions do you have difficulty making?
·         What is your work ethic? Give an example when your work ethic was challenged and how u dealt with it.
·         What is your biggest failure?
·         Describe your ideal career.
·         Work experience - Where do you see yourself five years from now? Describe a major goal you've set for yourself recently.
·         Experience with working on teams
·         What do you expect to do  with your MBA and what you expect to get out of the program
·         What you will bring to enrich the class
·         What questions you have about the program

Think long and hard about the obvious questions such as... Why MBA school? Why now? Be able to articulate this very well verbally.

1.       Your response should be focused and purposeful.
2.       Communicate a pattern of interests and skills that relate to the B-school in question.
3.       Be alert and confident.

Duration:  Anywhere between 30 mins to an hour long

Specific B-school questions:
Rotterdam School of Management- Erasmus Graduate School of Business. \

Admissions Officer. "Marjolijn Dijksterhuis" wrote, in a phone interview, I can tell you that you will be asked a number of questions about your application (e.g. objectives, motives). The questions will be in line with the issues addressed in the essays.
ISB interview:
Related mostly to work, no reference to application essays.
1.       Why ISB?
2.        Questions on ISB? Why at MBA at this point of time?
3.       Some very specific work related questions
·         10 mins on your professional experience, starting from the first job.
·         5 mins on the extracurricular background, your present activities outside professional activities and the activities you would like to participate in GSB?
·         Why MBA? Why this school? Short-term goals where and what industry would you work?
·         What are you specifically are you looking to gain from this MBA program?
·         How and when did u realize the need of an MBA? 5 mins -Questions on the school?
           OLIN Business School (University of Washington in St .Louis):
·         Why mba? Why this school?? When did you first hear of the school - How? Questions on the school?
·         3 adjectives to describe your strengths as per you? If I talk to your colleagues what would they say regarding these strengths - will they agree?
·         What would they say on your weaknesses?
·         What 3 criteria would you use to select the school to join, in case you are accepted by all the schools you have applied to?
·         How do you spend your leisure time?
·         Where and what industry do you want to work? Why
Dos and Don’ts:

·         Be alert and hence confident
·         Know in detail about the B-school Program, thus showing enthusiasm about attending the B-school
·         Speak clearly and audibly.
·         Please be punctual for the interview, if in case of rescheduling please inform the admission’s committee in advance.
·         Select a sound proof place for the interview
·         Always have an alternate number for phone interview.

·         Don't put yourself into a position where you have to get into school no matter what.
·         Don’t bluff or over emphasize.
·         Don’t be arrogant with the interviewer
·         Don’t pose an accent
·         Don’t sound bored.
·         Don’t use a cordless phone.

Last but not the least consider the interview as one last opportunity to tilt the admit scale in your favor. If an interview is offered , grab this opportunity ,since in person we tend to be more compelling and can address certain weaknesses , or bring other qualities like enthusiasm,  sense of humor , maturity to life which  could positively tip the scale in the admit decision.


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